So, this has been a really interesting look into my own prejudices. Anyone else?
Thinking thoughts like, "That poor child!" or "He has a vagina... he isn't a man," and wondering how I would have reacted had he come to me for prenatal care.
I'd love to say I would be the picture of decorum and not bat an eye, welcoming him as breezily as my female clients, but I would be lying. I think I would be shocked and then wonder if the man had some serious mental illness going on to get pregnant living as a man. I'm glad he didn't come to me first.
Now, I've had some time to think this whole thing out and wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all.
1. This must be EXACTLY what happened when the first bi-racial/lesbian/gay/Christian & Jew/Romeo and Juliet-type got pregnant and prepared to be parents. I can hear my exact thoughts floating through the air from long, long ago... and recognized it. I said, "ahhh!" and found compassion for all those "bigots" and prejudiced people I'd always rolled my eyes at. How amazing that I, even if for a brief moment, could totally relate to that kind of prejudice and judgement. It was in that moment that it vanished.
2. Thomas Beatie, father-to-be, has a vagina, one fallopian tube, one ovary and a uterus. He is transitioning from a woman to a man - and knows he is a man inside his body and heart - but, how did he qualify to become a legal man with the genitalia of a woman? Besides all the other stuff, does taking hormones and have a double mastectomy mean one LEGALLY becomes a man and gets to have the heterosexual privilege of marrying in this society? What if Sarah took a shot of testosterone once a month. Does that mean we can get married? I'm not trying to be (real) smarmy; I really want to know the technical answers to this. What are the United States' gender designation laws?
3. I've read Beatie's article in The Advocate and that man has some sense in him! I wish wish wish I could have seen him on Oprah yesterday (I forgot to DVR it!) because the snippets I've read are fabulous.
"Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire. "
What a beautiful sentiment!
4. I've heard men say they would love to carry and birth a baby, but was able to dismiss their words with a "that would never happen, so it's easy for you to say." Well, maybe men really would carry and birth a child if they had that option. Beatie calls it "reproductive rights." Oooo, what a way to use the terminology I'm familiar with!
5. Thank goodness they didn't come and ask me to be their midwife before I emotionally got my head out of my butt! I still don't know if I would be the right midwife for them - it isn't right to process one's issues with the client upon whom the issue is raised – but I think when the topic comes around again… and I think it will… I will be more compassionate and understanding than I was this time around.
I look forward to reading and hearing how others have worked through their realization that this isn’t a hoax, but something that is really happening in our world. (Can’t you hear the progressive writer of the day saying the same thing about inter-marriage?)